“You have to go to Rancho Chico. It’s where the locals go. It’s where the college students go when they come back. Everyone goes there.” That’s what I heard from a local business owner about this Mexican restaurant in Omak, Washington.
My first visit was Kathleen and it was great – the food, service, and ambiance. The restaurant is very colorful – from the carved and painted chairs to the murals painted throughout the restaurant to the staff members. Everything feels ‘happy’ at Rancho Chico and there’s no shortage of smiles.
When Paul came to Washington for a visit we went there for lunch and it was more like dinner theatre for us. Another ‘Audience Participation’ experience and this time I had someone to share it with. The chips and salsa served here are a little different and remind me of the salsa and toppings served with the Salvadoran Papusas that I love so much – cabbage, peppers, and some type of vinegar dressing. You can dress up your chips with this, add a little salsa and it’s delicious!
Last visit I had a burrito so I wanted to try something different. We shared the spinach enchiladas with the intention of saving room for flan. Francisco, our server was very attentive as were Pedro and Misael. The enchiladas were good, the service outstanding, and we were left with no room for flan. They did serve us a complimentary ice cream treat. It was just perfect – a tiny scoop of strawberry ice cream with whipped cream on top of a sugary chip.
After lunch Paul and I took turns taking photos. I was drawn to the murals and Paul to the beautiful carved and brightly painted chairs. The staff directed us to more things – murals in the bathrooms, the staff in the kitchen, saddles hanging up, and a bull in their bar service area. Then they put sombreros on both of us, gave Paul a bottle of tequila, and offered to take our photo. Audience participation in our dinner theatre experience! We left there with a feeling of being turned upside down because it was fun, funny, and very unexpected.
I did go there one more time when Debbie, the barista at Novel Delights was saying “Umm, ooohhh, yeah…yumm!” when I asked about the soup she was eating. It was the Albondigas soup and she was right…ooohh…ahhhh…yumm! It’s served a little like how chicken soup is served in a Korean restaurant – the soup is served and you can add to it what you want – onions, cilantro, and lime.
That visit was enjoyable and much calmer than when Paul and I went, which was very nice. The servers showered me with compliments, calling me ‘Bonita’ every chance they could. These tipped employees are very smart.
Of course locals go there and college students go there when they are home on the weekend. The food is great, service is wonderful, and it’s full of life and smiles. They are also great ambassadors for the Okanogan Valley and a good representation of the people who live, work, and have their businesses there. There’s ‘unity’ in the community in the Okanogan Valley – they promote each other, share business spaces, offer locally made products, and are friendly.I’ve been told that Okanogan means ‘Good Medicine‘ and I believe it.
Rancho Chico is located at 22 N. Main Street in Omak, Washington. The hours of operation are 11 am – 9 pm, Monday through Sunday. Their phone number is 509.826.4757. Stop in for some ‘Good Medicine’ in Washington!